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Plan to renovate Armstrong ES heads to planning commission

A rendering of Armstrong Elementary School’s main entrance after planned renovation (via FCPS)

A plan to renovate Reston’s Armstrong Elementary School is coming to fruition.

The Fairfax County Planning Commission is set to consider a proposal tonight (Wednesday) to expand the school at 11900 Lake Newport Road with several additions and amenities.

Built in 1985, the school’s current enrollment is 360 students — far below its design capacity of 786 students — but the building is in need of “significant” improvements, according to the application.

The plans call for a 27,250-square-foot expansion of the school building, including a one-story, 7,250-square-foot administrative suite, a two-story, roughly 11,500-square-foot classroom addition, and a one-story, 8,500-square-foot addition for a library on the west side of the building.

Three new playgrounds are planned on the southern end of the property, along with a 6-foot-wide asphalt trail on the east side of the softball field and soccer field. An additional 36 parking spaces will also be provided, giving the site a total of 146 spots.

Several additions are proposed for Armstrong Elementary School in Reston (via Fairfax County)

Scheduled to wrap up in the summer of 2026, the renovation is not expected to impact outdoor activities. A staging area for construction is proposed at the existing sports field, and four temporary classrooms, including a trailer with a bathroom, and a temporary playground will be provided during the renovation.

“School outdoor activities will be maintained during the renovation and coordinated by the School,” the application said. “Modular classrooms may be necessary during the renovation but will be removed upon completion of the construction.”

A bus parking area with five spaces will be added in front of the school’s main entrance. Fairfax County Public Schools reduced the maximum number of buses that can fit in a queue from 14 to 13 after the Virginia Department of Transportation raised concerns about overflow onto Lake Newport Road, according to a county staff report.

“While this is an improvement, applicant should continue to demonstrate at the time of site plan that sufficient queuing exists on-site for all 13 buses without conflicting with pedestrian and vehicular circulation,” the report said. “A development condition has been proposed to address this issue.”

County staff have also suggested that a stop bar and buffer strip be added in the bus area to better separate it from pedestrians.

Other recommendations in the staff report include the provision of a noise study at the project’s site plan phase “to ensure that students are not exposed to harmful levels of noise given that new fields and playground areas are proposed.”

Rendering via FCPS

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